These days we all know somebody who does yoga. The ancient practice has found a home in modern exercise routines, and for good reason: Yoga is an amazing workout that’s wonderful for your health in so many ways.
Keep scrolling to learn about yoga’s health benefits and the best yoga poses for beginners.
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The benefits of yoga
Yoga isn’t just about becoming a human pretzel and saying “om.” There are worthwhile benefits like improving flexibility and balance. (So maybe it’s a little about becoming a pretzel.) Regular yoga practice may also reduce inflammation and potentially even relieve migraines. Aside from these physical benefits, yoga has been shown to help manage mental health. All of this is good news for your hair, as stress and inflammation are two key triggers for hair shedding. To boost the benefits even more, try combining yoga with taking your Nutrafol, which is formulated with 22 natural ingredients clinically proven to improve hair growth.
Yoga poses for beginners
So you want to do yoga, but you don’t know where to start. After all, there are over 300 different yoga poses (also called asanas) to choose from. Luckily, we have done the work of searching all 300 to find you the best basic yoga poses to get started. Here are the top four.
1. Mountain pose (tadasana)
No list of beginner yoga poses would be complete without the mountain pose. It’s the base for all standing poses. It might not look like much, but this pose is definitely more than “just standing there.”
How to do the pose: Stand with your feet together on the floor or a yoga mat. Press down your toes and heels to ground yourself firmly and feel the earth beneath you. Spread your toes open, one by one. Engage your thigh muscles, and slowly draw in and engage each muscle up the length of your body. Once you get to the top of your body, relax your jaw and brow. Turn your palms to face the front of the room. Breathe in deeply and easy. Hold for about five to eight breaths. You’ve got this.
The benefits: The mountain pose is a chance to relax your muscles, focus on your breathing, and prepare for more poses. It’s the starting point for so many more poses.
2. Downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)
You’ve probably seen this interesting pose before. It’s pretty memorable and fun. Like most yoga poses, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
How to do the pose: Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, pushing your hips up and back toward your heels while lengthening your spine. Keep your knees bent if your hamstrings are tight, but try to keep your legs straight. If you need to, walk your hands forward a little. Press your hands to the floor and rotate your arms to have the biceps face each other. Breath deeply and hold for five to eight breaths.
The benefits: Downward dog opens your shoulders, stretches your hamstrings, and helps your spine. It strengthens and stretches almost the entire body while also helping you relax.
3. Tree pose (vrksasana)
Remember the mountain pose? Good. It’s part of this pose. And even though it looks cool, it’s still one of the beginner yoga poses that are easy to do.
How to do the pose: Start in the mountain pose. Place your right foot on the inside of your upper left thigh. Try picking a point in the distance to look at to help you balance. Feel free to modify the pose and place your foot lower on your leg if you need to. Press your hands together in prayer position and touch your palms to the front of your sternum. Breath in deeply for five to eight breaths.
The benefits: Tree pose is one of the best beginner yoga poses for improving your balance. The pose also helps strengthen the arches of the feet and hips.
4. Warrior I pose (virabhadrasana I)
This pose is Warrior I, and yes there is a Warrior II for later in your yoga career. You’ll need to know the downward-facing dog to do this one well. This is a fun one.
How to do the pose: Start in downward-facing dog and put one foot forward between your hands. Turn your back foot out 45 degrees. Bend your front knee directly over your heel while you straighten your back leg and push that heel toward the ground. Lengthen your spine and lift your arms in an upside-down V above your head. Widen your stance if you find it hard to balance. Breathe deeply and hold for five to eight breaths.
Benefits: This pose strengthens your leg and back muscles while stretching your chest, shoulders, neck, and ankles. Warrior pose will help build strength and stamina for more difficult poses later.
These are the four best yoga poses for beginners. And just like that, you’ve started on your yoga journey. Put all of these poses together and you’ll have a beginner yoga routine to build on and expand until you reach human pretzel status.